Nicola Sturgeon questions lack of media coverage of Tory ‘Dark Money’ scandal

Scotland’s First Minister has questioned the lack of coverage of the so-called ‘Dark Money’ scandal that has engulfed the Scottish Conservative Party.

In a tweet posted on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon said “Only just caught up with the detail of this Scottish Tory #darkmoney story in @FerretScot. Surprised there aren’t more media questions being asked about it – as well as about the Richard Cook/DUP story.”

The message was prompted by revelations published by investigative website The Ferret that questioned the source of hundreds of thousands of pounds donated to local branches of Ruth Davidson’s party.

On 26 June The Ferret revealed that £319,000 had been given to Tory politicians by the Scottish Unionist Association Trust. The organisation has no fixed address or known current trustees and is currently being examined by the Electoral Commission.

However the issue has been met with subdued reaction across Scotland’s media, with BBC Scotland coming in for especially heavy criticism.

The corporation has failed to include the story in its news bulletins despite senior politicians raising the matter in the House of Commons.  SNP MP Pete Wishart raised the issue last week and called for a debate.

His party colleague Mhairi Black has called on Ruth Davidson to answer questions.  In her Daily Record column, MP Black wrote: “The Scottish Tories are up to their necks in dark money and it’s time the Electoral Commission zeroed in on these shady practices.

“The question for Davidson now is, will she come clean? Or will she instead continue to accept dodgy donations with one hand, while shaking the hands of constituents with the other?”

Davidson’s party is also linked to what many have described as dodgy donations made to the Northern Irish DUP during the Brexit campaign. The money was spent on pro-Bexit adverts in the UK.

Richard Cook, a former vice chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland and a previous Tory candidate for East Renfrewshire, was behind the DUP’s controversial £425,000 donation.

However, despite the very clear implications for Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives, the issue has failed to generate the headlines it deserves across Scotland’s media.

The lack of coverage has prompted a series of angry exchanges between senior BBC Scotland figures and members of the public over the refusal of BBC Scotland to adequately cover the scandal.

The broadcaster has employed a virtual news blackout of the story with its two main news programmes Reporting Scotland and Good Morning Scotland failing to mention it.


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12 thoughts on “Nicola Sturgeon questions lack of media coverage of Tory ‘Dark Money’ scandal

  1. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Gary Robertson complying with the Royal Charter of the BritNat Broadcasting Corporation:

    6. The Public Purpose

    (4) “….help contribute to the social cohesion and wellbeing of the United Kingdom.”

    They are following orders folks.

    Don’t pay the propaganda tax.

  2. John

    Don’t know why Nicola Sturgeon is surprised at lack of coverage on “tory dark money ” , every Scot with any political and media interest knows the Scottish MSM do not probe any Unionist misdeeds , they take a cursory glance and move on .The big headlines are kept exclusively for the SNP , if they dare to even put a toe out of line .
    It is a failing of the SNP media team that they do not relentlessly pursue these editors to do decent journalism , but then again , you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink !

    1. Robert Graham

      I have to agree John , the SNP always seem to be reacting to stories instead of going after the media and showing them for what they are , they seem to be trying to be nice and not upset these lying b/strds , most independence supporters know exactly how the media operate , do we need to teach the SNP ?,

      1. John

        I have written to them already about this when they were asking if anything could be improved upon , I will keep doing so till they get the message , maybe you could join in 🙂

      2. vagabondo

        If the SNP were “going after the media”, where would we be able to listen to, read about or watch the reports? Most people still get their news mainly from radio and television.

        1. John

          Yes they do , and that is the big problem , most of what they read and hear is Unionist propaganda . Things must change to get a proper account of what really happens in our country .

        2. Robert Graham

          On every Live interview , and at every opportunity in Holyrood , the coverage of what was termed as a stunt got the type of coverage all the other parties enjoy ,

          If its not tried it surely will fail , every single avenue must be explored if you dont ask you dont get , a refusal ,try again dont bloody just give up .

          This acceptance of the media wont cover stuff wont wash and if thats the attitude we all might as well just give up and go home ,

          1. stewartb

            “This acceptance of the media wont cover stuff wont wash and if thats the attitude we all might as well just give up and go home ,”

            I agree Robert. The problem, the challenge, is now well known: the urgent need to try something different in terms of approach with the media is clear. There is a need to rebut but also a need to get coverage for the SG’s positives .. and for the threats to Scotland’s devolution.

            The SNP and SG have the resource and should be able to access the creative talent (I don’t have the expertise) to experiment with different methods of communication – even if it is (only) a much more robust tone and push back in BBC interviews.

            Just doing more of the same – or just accepting that things are as they are and can’t be altered – is not good enough. This is all far too important! And something – more evidence of trying the new – is needed NOW. (Not least in the short term for the morale of the Yes movement and also for the electoral prospects of the SNP at a potential snap GE.)

        3. Gentile

          When being interviewed bring it up. Ask them why they don’t ask Davidson about the Dark Money, why they don’t ask her about their racist and bigoted councillors. Turn the tables on the BBC and STV , put them on the spot. “I’ll gladly answer your questions if you answer mine.

  3. Brian Powell

    The rest of the world is beginning to look at this web of money and will eventually bring it all out, then the BBC, BBCScotland and the Scottish newspapers’ are going to be shown as worthless, conniving, corrupted trash, to put it mildly.

  4. Rob Gray

    What can we expect from the STATE Broadcaster …
    Cover up after cover up
    NO NEWS Then propaganda
    We saw them cover up the info given to them by The RAF Whistleblower Gordon Bowden
    BBC is part of the issue from laundering money to paedophilia + government black money cover ups

  5. Lorna Campbell

    The Gillian Martin debacle was an attempt to bring down Nicola Sturgeon, or, at the very least, to wound her and her government, as well as to get a Scottish Minister’s scalp. It cannot work the other way round because the media will not do anything to harm the Tories while they are negotiating Brexit with the EU, but they will try to wound the SNP and the SG at every opportunity for precisely that reason – Brexit – and their stand-off. The answer is to stand firm and give not one inch. Not an inch.

    Oh, and Mr Bell, don’t go down the path of getting elected representatives to acknowledge the authority of the Scottish parliament – until we have independence. If we do that now, the blood and soil Nationalists on the other side will demand that we do the same with Westminster. In the end, it will be our not acknowledging Westminster’s hegemony, or its sovereignty over Scotland, that will demolish that so-called Union.

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